My Darling Margaret,
I have a letter from you and it was dated Aug. 26. I have been moving around a good bit the last month or so and have had no chance to write to you in that time. In fact I have no time now but I am just taking it. This will be just a short note and I will write a more complete letter at the earliest possible moment. You mention a skip of some 6 weeks that I did not write, probably a boat sank. They do you know. I have just made a kind of tour of this country and have seen some beautiful sights. Not many though. I still have not run across any boys tht I knew at home but I continue to expect to any day now. I sent you a cable on day a good while ago. I wonder did you get it. We have gotten a good bit of mail the last few days and the bail box is getting a heavy play. After about seven mnths without seeing a female I am thinking of you a great deal. Can you blame me for that? Believe me when I say that my system craves you. All my love
He sent a longer letter the same day:
Howard and Margaret played a lot of pinochle and gin rummy with friends, but I don't recall him playing poker. I do remember Margaret objecting to her brother, John, betting on me at gin rummy.
He wrote another letter on November 9:
My Darling Margaret,
Today is Sunday and is turned out to be a very nice day for me. Along about 4.30 PM this day I got a letter from you. I trust that you are getting my letters with a fair degree of frequency. I seem to get one of yours about every so often. I am still in good health, still in this same country and still making the grade in a kind of a way. Right now I am making it the easy way. I hope you are too. You speak of a good crop of war babies coming along. I suggest that their [sic] will be a good crop in this country before too long.
I have been motoring around the country a little of late and of course the Army teaches one to be as observant as possible. It reminds me of 1929. The skirts are getting shorter and the kids are making a lot of noise. I suppose that this is a direct result of the clothes rationing. It is really difficult to get enough cloth here to make a very long garment. Well with everything going to the milit'ry I suppose that people must save somewhere. Is the same influence being felt in the 'States?
I have a letter of yours dated Oct 14 that mentions a chance to spend a month or so in Florida. By all means go. I suppose that you will not drive down this year but if you have a chance to go down to Miami, look up Ruth and tell me just how she is doing. The opinion that I have of that man of hes is not too good and I just wonder if I am right. Of course every one knows their own business best and if this guy suits her he must be just right. Her address is 739 S.W. Second St. Miami, Fla.
Simile (sp): As indefinite as an APO address. We have been getting the news over the radio pretty regularly lately and it sounds all right. I suppose that you get the same news as we do. Ours comes from America.
I just now had to step over the way and see what some of the boys caught this time. It turned out to be a fringed lizard. These little reptiles are about two feet long and they have a fringe about eight inches in diameter around their necks. When they get excited they make this fringe stand out. It is very pretty, a lot of different colors. We never have a dull moment here in Australia.
I have been studying these rocks her a little of late. I figured that anything that gave me as much bother as they do should be kind of interesting they're not. A very poor grade of rock mostely [sic]. They break very easily but of course to make up for that they are rather pretty inside.
My love, I miss you a little too much these days. I surely trust that it won't be too long before we are together again for a little at least. You have all my love.
Howard was on furlough for two weeks in November 1942 and wrote when he returned:
My Darling Margaret,
I guess that it is about three weeks or so since I have written to you. I have been on furlough to a small town near here and I had a very nice time. It certainly does one good to get away from the Army for even a few days. I was gone about a fortnight as the Aussies would say. When I got back there were a lot of letters from you and other people too here for me. This did indeed help the morale of this troop. You that sometimes you go along for some time without getting any letters from me. I assure that I am writing with a surprising degree of regularity. There is doubtless something that you can guess is wrong. We are at war you know. I go back to work tomorrow.
I read all the clippings that you sent me with appreciation. Most of them are very apropo [sic]. How is the old civilian morale holding up? I am more concerned with it than with our own. I know that our morale is alright but I do not know about yours. From the letters I get I guess that it is in pretty good shape.
You know that it is impossible to get a good cup of coffee in this country and I sure missed it when I was on my leave. I had to settle for a slug of Scotch and you know that this beverage is very harmful when taken into my system before ten o'clock in the morning. In view of this I felt that since it was my duty as a soldier to keep my health as good as possible, I did not eat my breakfast until about 10.01.
Tomorrow it will be exactly nine months since we came to this country. A lot of days. Also in a few days it will be Thanksgiving. I can just imagine a lot of them ministers getting up in church and Thanking the Lord that things are no worse than they are. I am thankful that I can get a glass of beer once in a while and that in spite of hell I am just mad enough to never take anything too seriously.
Honey child, from the tone of you[r] letters you spend to[o] much time looking for the mail man. This practice will cease with the least practicable delay. As always you have all my love